A friendly reminder to those who feel stuck.
When I think back to all the times I've felt stuck, insecure, or off-track, there are a few common patterns that emerge:
Being in a rut sucks and yet it always seems to sneak its way into our lives.
Here are 5 tips on how I try to negate it.
During my graduate studies, I wrote a research paper on the effects of depression and the impact it has on a community.
One study found an interesting pattern among research participants -- upward comparison on social media.
Let's translate that to English.
When you look at a photo of someone on vacation in Europe, you might think "well I'm not in Europe". This act of comparison starts to breed a guilty feeling about the decisions and choices you've made (and are making) in life.
It's not pleasant, but knowing this can help you. You can start to adjust your mindset when you browse social media. Instead of counting the things you don't have, make the subconscious decision to find the positive things you (1) do have and, (2) can respect the things that this person has done.
Ever finish a workout and feel a jolt of energy and productivity? There's a reason for that.
When you exercise, your brain produces enzymes. These little molecules kick your body into high-gear with increased metabolism, increased body function, focus, etc.
Imagine it like starting a car. Exercise is the key and your productivity is the vehicle. All you need to do is follow the road (your mindset) and get to your destination (your vision/goal).
I actually get quite a few people message me who are unsure on how to start their idea. The first place their mind goes to is money, which I disagree with and try to steer elsewhere.
Whether you want to be an Instagram model, a YouTuber, a developer, or a stylist, there is ALWAYS a way to get started. You don't need a degree, you don't need to attend college, you don't need to have credentials -- I've completed 4 different programs and have NEVER been asked about my grads or background. All that ever mattered was "is he up for the task at hand?".
You can get started by creating an Instagram account, a blog, a Squarespace site, etc. Even the act of starting to explore a new path and posting little hints of content about it online (under your name or an alias account) is a good way to start.
The best part is the sort of self-fulfilling prophecy behind it all. If you stick to a routine of creating and posting content, people will eventually build that identify FOR you.
You can BE an influencer, a marketer, an engineer, or model. It just comes down to getting started and sticking with it.
And look, it'll never be perfect on day 1. You just gotta start and aim for better. Eventually you'll scroll back in time and see how far you've truly come.
This was a hurdle I faced everyday and something that loomed on my mind for years, however it doesn't even phase me now.
Throughout life there will be people who resent and degrade you for the things you set out to achieve.
I don't know why, but that just seems like part of the process of becoming who you WANT to be.
And it's fine. They don't have to like you.
People go on about their reputation or that putting themselves out there might damage their careers -- please trust me when I say it doesn't one single bit.
For every person who breathes disapproval to the actions I take, there are easily 5-10 others who cheer for me and support the process.
And here's the kicker: are the people who you're worried about upsetting the ones that feed you? That pay your rent, your phone, your car, etc? Are they in any better position to tell you not to do something? If not, then frig it. Let them be watchers and power forward.
This might not be a popular thing to write, but I don't think it's said enough.
What can you do right now or by the end of the day to gear you up for tomorrow's productivity?
Can you go to bed earlier? Put the phone down? Go for a run? Put a motivational quote in your bathroom mirror?
Whatever it is, DO SOMETHING.
Change doesn't come in a month or a year or when you're "ready". It all begins with starting and aiming for improvement. Do this and hit it for as hard as you can, for as long as you can (until you can't).
And don't let the "burnout" arguement be the reason you don't get going. Manage your sleep, your eating, and do what's needed to ensure a healthy mindset. If you fall, take a month-long break and get back to it.
Don't hold back. Get the job done.
The time between now and then is the cost.
Work hard and overdeliver. Let your work speak for itself.
- G. MacInnis